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Here’s how you can lose weight post-Diwali (no gymming involved!)

8/26 14:05:06
walking for weight loss

Food is usually a major part of any festival, and with Diwali round the corner, the slue of sweets and other unhealthy foods could lead to weight gain. While you might enjoy the treats, it could lead to something known as the  ‘post-festive syndrome’ which is where you have pangs of guilt and regret due to weight gain. Since it is almost impossible to deprive oneself  of all the delicious sweets available during the festive season, for most of us, a post festival workout would be in order. But if you’d rather not slave away at the gym, here is an easy way to lose weight — walking. According to Dr. Sudha Reddy, Medical Advisory Team, Max Bupa, one of the most effective ways to maintain or lose weight  is to engage in regular, sustained physical activity like walking. Here are a few tips by Dr Sudha on why you should start walking to lose weight.

Why start walking?

Walking is simple, free and one of the easiest ways to get more active, lose weight and become healthier. It’s underrated as a form of exercise but walking is ideal for people of all ages and fitness levels who want to be more active and lose that extra weight gained during the festive season. Experts now say that taking roughly 10,000 steps per day sets off a chain reaction of physical benefits, including lower blood pressure, reduced risk for heart disease and better odds for preventing breast cancer.

‘You might be able to lose weight, depending on the duration and intensity of your walking and what your diet’s like. Walking continuously for 30 minutes or more is best for fat-burning. At a brisk walking pace, you will cover a distance of 1 2.5 to 3.3 kilometers in 30 minutes. Walk most days of the week for at least 30 minutes to burn an extra 1000 to 3000 calories per week and to improve your metabolism each day.’ says Dr Sudha.

Here’s how a regular walking program can help you
• It helps burn calories
• Aids in weight loss
• Helps reduce blood cholesterol levels
• Controls blood pressure
• Controls sugar levels in the blood
• Increase stamina
• Boost bone strength
• And finally helps with muscle strengthening and increased joint mobility and flexibility

Why is walking the best form of exercise to lose weight? 

According to Dr Sudha, walking is the best exercise for a person to start their exercise regime because it is one of the easiest exercises to do, it can be done almost anywhere at any time, a person does not need any special equipment or expertise to get started, progress is easy to plan and measure over time, walking isn’t very taxing for a person’s body so it can be done everyday, it can easily be done with others making motivation easier and the best part is that even a little bit of walking can produce beneficial results.

Here’s how you can start walking

Get the right gear: It is essential that you choose shoes with proper arch support, a firm heel and thick flexible soles to cushion your feet and absorb shock. If you walk outdoors when it’s dark, wear bright colours or reflective tape for visibility. Apart from your shoes, your clothes matter too, remember to wear  loose and comfortable clothing so that you can walk comfortably.

Choose your course carefully: If you’ll be walking outdoors, avoid paths with cracked sidewalks, potholes, low-hanging limbs or uneven turf as they can cause injuries. It is best that you go for a walk either on a track made for walking, or do so in a place that is well paved.

Warm up: It is essential that you warm up before you start walking fast. To ensure that you are ready,walk slowly for five to ten minutes to warm up your muscles and prepare your body for exercise.

Cool down: At the end of your walk, walk slowly for five to 10 minutes to help your muscles cool down and prevent any post-work out soreness you might feel.

Stretch: After you cool down, gently stretch your muscles. If you’d rather stretch before you walk, remember to warm up first. Stretching helps your muscles relax and beats any aches and pains you might be feeling.

Hydration: Drink plenty of fluids before and after your walk. If you are taking a long walk, carry water with you.

Ways to keep your daily walk interesting include:

Most of us tend to start a regime but give up mid way. While boredom could be one reason, sheer monotony of the regime does tend to lead to inconsistencies. To help you beat that daemon, here are a few tips on how you can stay interested.

• If you want to stick close to home and limit your walking to neighborhood streets, pick different routes so you don’t get bored of seeing the same sights.
• Walk at different times of the day. The sights to see first thing in the morning are bound to be different from those you’d see in the afternoon or early evening.
• You could even choose to drive a little distance from your house and walk in a park or a different walk-way.
• Walk with a friend, this will help in strengthening relationships and gets time to know each other better.

Finally, remember that making lifestyle and behavior changes is not easy. It takes commitment, perseverance and effort to make it part of the daily schedule. With time, as you continue to walk, you’ll start to reap the physical and mental health benefits and improve your physical performance. You’ll be able to walk longer and have the confidence to add more walking into your life.


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